American Independence Day events

Top Independence Day celebrations on 4th of July


Kai Sedgwick

Kai Sedgwick
HomeAway travel expert

Orange County boat parade Should you find yourself holidaying in the United States come early July, the odds are you’ll celebrate American Independence Day with the same fervour as the locals. It’s easy to get sucked into the calendar of events around the Fourth of July, as national pride manifests itself in the form of firework displays, parades, sporting events and concerts. While many simply use the holiday as an excuse to cut loose and celebrate life, for others, the holiday is all about history and heritage, political freedom and democracy. Whether you’re in Washington, New York or any other city that falls under the banner of Stars & Stripes, there’ll be a roster of activities to enjoy come Independence Day.

The lure of America is unique to each individual; visitors flock to the States to enjoy all manner of pursuits, from snowboarding to sightseeing. Wherever you end up celebrating American Independence Day, you’ll want to be assured of comfortable accommodation for the duration of your stay. HomeAway Holiday Rentals has an array of rentals located across the United States, so instead of settling on a hotel, why not rent an affordable apartment or cottage? From chic loft spaces in Manhattan to oceanside condos in San Diego, we’ve got your accommodation needs covered. Here’s a guide to some of the top events commemorating American Independence Day.


Our guide to impressive Independence Day events


Capitol Fourth Capitol Fourth

Where better to celebrate Independence Day than on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building? This free concert is broadcast live on television in the States, and is typically attended by some half a million revellers. As well as performances from some of the country’s best-loved musicians, you’ll be treated to music from ceremonial bands and symphony orchestras, before a mammoth fireworks display rounds off the evening in style. Past headliners have included Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, so keep an eye on the schedule, and above all, don’t forget to bring your flag!

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Macy’s Ignite the Night Macy’s Ignite the Night

Celebrating America’s national holiday in the city that never sleeps is never a bad idea, and the grandest Fourth of July shindig is Macy’s Ignite the Night show. Watch as two tons of fireworks light up the sky over the Hudson River, fired from barges during a 25-minute display. Like the Capitol Fourth event, this celebration has such prestige that it is televised on NBC, with past performers including Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney. Macy’s annual show has been part of the fabric of New Year since the late ‘70s. Few experiences will inspire a surge of honorary patriotism like gazing across the Hudson, chowing on a hotdog with the Stars and Stripes ringing in your ears.

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Let Freedom Sing Let Freedom Sing

Nashville is the site of the “largest fireworks display in the South”, and you’re unlikely to meet as many American patriots as you’ll find at Let Freedom Sing, the annual Fourth of July concert. Don your spurs and cowboy hat and head along to Riverfront Park for this multi-day event, where the live music has a distinctly country feel. The Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra also play their part, with their set choreographed to the awesome fireworks display. Elsewhere, there’s plenty to get up to – the kids will certainly enjoy the water slides, climbing walls and face painting. All in all, a fantastically fun day out for all the family.

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St. Louis St. Louis

It’s difficult to select just one event to attend in St Louis, so get along to this fantastic city in early July and soak up the entire roster of events. Yes, there are plenty of fireworks - three days’ worth, in fact, with shells launched from a barge moored on the Mississippi River - but there’s also a packed programme of family activities, including air shows, military tributes, parades, concerts and competitions. Several hundred thousand spectators cram into the Gateway Arch grounds each year to watch the show, which has a deserved reputation as one of the best in the country. Watch out for the fireworks reflected on St Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch each evening.

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Family 4th Family 4th

They really know how to commemorate a holiday in Seattle. The Family 4th event is definitely the place to celebrate Independence Day if you’re in the Pacific Northwest around this time. Get along to watch blues, jazz and soul groups do their thing during the day, while in the evening you can watch $150,000 explode in the skies over Lake Tahoe - yep, that’s the budget for this epic annual display. Some 250,000 patrons pour into Gas Works and Lake Union parks on the holiday, while more look on from around the lake: spectacular.

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